Cheaters and Nihilists

Today’s entry is not funny. It involves a very serious trend in schools. But the conundrum faced by researchers at “Charles Darwin University” (yes, there is such a place; it’s spread over several locations in Australia) is ironic to the point of provoking a snicker at least.

COVID-19 creates a new marketplace for contract cheating, new CDU study finds (Charles Darwin University). The researchers behind this study are very concerned over a meteoric rise in cheating during the pandemic. With so many students studying at home where they cannot be monitored, large numbers of internet-savvy students have looked to apps for help. And cheating app writers are pleased to oblige them for a little (rub fingers briskly) dough. Three researchers at CDU looked into how widespread this practice is.


While the e-word evolution does not appear in the paper, neither do the words right or wrong. The word integrity appears 58 times, along with related words like fraud, misconduct and ethics. Those words are stripped of their substance, though, by the lack of a standard of absolute truth and morality. They sound like mere worries among the cooperators about how to hang onto their power.

[…the writer adds…]

There have always been crooks and cheaters, but the majority of people in past eras at least believed that cheating was wrong—actually morally wrong by its intrinsic nature. Concerned by the rise in juvenile delinquency in the decade after World War II, my father, a Navy Chaplain, launched youth clubs that were designed to instill “internal controls that make youth want to behave.” The means to that end were giving them the gospel and then training them in character qualities based on the Bible. Those who rose through the ranks, both boys and girls, who had demonstrated their reputation for good moral behavior were then given opportunities to lead and instruct younger teens or children, who usually looked up to and respected them. His vision was to overcome delinquency with decency by a “chain reaction”– reaching youth through youth. Many of those who graduated through these clubs continued on with those internal controls into their mature adult years, despite having come from disadvantaged homes where a life of crime and purposelessness was often the default outcome. The Chaplain’s work was further reinforced by a society led by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a devout Christian, who prayed publicly and spoke often of the need for national righteousness.

Does Cheating Evolve?
David F. Coppedge

The Better Sort do have real power: 90%+ given to them by a desperately-eager to please Christian leadership.

But that power rots in their hands.

The fundamental point for Christian homeschoolers is that their children are not confused between success (helping people, mastering knowledge, making discoveries) and success-indicators (money, degrees, grants and awards).

Note that the contract cheaters don’t care about religion: just money.

It’s important that Christian students see cheating as not merely unsocial behaviour: it must be seen as wrong and evil. (Long-term, it’s typically destructive too.)

It’s important that Christians be seen — and actually be — men of integrity. That is the road to leadership, not some quest for power.

Long-term victory is worth the price of some short-term failed papers and exams.

North Comments

I recall a bit of insight from Gary North, from his earlier article
Success Indicators in Education: Why So Many Bright Kids Get Sidetracked

—<Quote begins>—

This was posted on a forum.

I tutored kids in math for four years in math. After a lot of failures and some success I’ve noticed the same thing over and over…

1. The successful kids with excellent grades, some getting A’s in calculus their junior or sophomore year even, think of learning math as it’s own reward, and their curiosity shows often.

2. The unsuccessful kids think grades are everything, and all they want to know is just enough to get an A in the class. They end up losers. I suspect more than a few kids who do very well feel the same way.


This is an accurate assessment. But it has implications for every area of life.

Here is the problem. There is success. Then there are success indicators. We like to believe they are the same. They almost never are.

We are rewarded to pursue success indicators. We are only rarely told that success is not the same. I discuss this in my book on success. See Chapter 4.//

The success indicator should tell us: “Can I still stay in the market?” If a person’s objective performance — as assessed by those who hand out the rewards — compared to others is substandard, he may be forced to quit. He will flunk out, go broke, or not make the cut. He has to improve.

The ability to stay in the market may not be success. It may be the wrong market for the individual. His success indicators may lure him into staying in a field that he should leave behind.

There is no escape from success indicators. The trick is to select the one that tells you how well you are doing in the place where you belong. Rarely are these numerical success indicators. It takes wisdom, maturity, and the ability to assess accurately. These skills are rare. Among teenagers, they are extremely rare.

This is why a parent needs to know what the teenager regards as success. Then the parents must help the teenager identify appropriate success indicators. This must be done before the parent starts handing out rewards or punishments.

—<Quote ends>—

See Gary North’s Five Pillars of Biblical Success here.

Our sophisticated Darwinian nihilists place no fundamental value on math per se: as it does not objectively exist in their eyes, it merely means what the powerful people says it means. Two plus two actually does equal five – if there’s enough Evolutionary Success (money, privilege, mates) to make it so.

Same deal for calling a man a woman. Or slavery freedom.

That is Darwin’s road. Christians are not to touch it.

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